View synonyms for vulgar


[ vuhl-ger ]


  1. characterized by ignorance of or lack of good breeding or taste:

    vulgar ostentation.

    Synonyms: ribald, coarse, low, inelegant, unrefined

  2. indecent; obscene; lewd:

    a vulgar work; a vulgar gesture.

  3. crude; coarse; unrefined:

    a vulgar peasant.

    Synonyms: rude, boorish

  4. of, relating to, or constituting the ordinary people in a society:

    the vulgar masses.

  5. current; popular; common:

    a vulgar success; vulgar beliefs.

  6. spoken by, or being in the language spoken by, the people generally; vernacular:

    vulgar tongue.

    Synonyms: colloquial

  7. lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary:

    a vulgar painting.


  1. Archaic. the common people.
  2. Obsolete. the vernacular.


/ ˈvʌlɡə /


  1. marked by lack of taste, culture, delicacy, manners, etc

    vulgar language

    vulgar behaviour

  2. often capital; usually prenominal denoting a form of a language, esp of Latin, current among common people, esp at a period when the formal language is archaic and not in general spoken use
  3. archaic.
    1. of, relating to, or current among the great mass of common people, in contrast to the educated, cultured, or privileged; ordinary
    2. ( as collective noun; preceded by the )

      the vulgar

Discover More

Usage Note

Terms that are labeled Vulgar in this dictionary are considered inappropriate in many circumstances because of their association with a taboo subject. Major taboo subjects in English-speaking countries are sex and excretion and the parts of the body associated with those functions.

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈvulgarly, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • vulgar·ly adverb
  • vulgar·ness noun
  • un·vulgar adjective
  • un·vulgar·ly adverb
  • un·vulgar·ness noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of vulgar1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin vulgāris, from vulg(us) “common people, crowd” + -āris -ar 1

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of vulgar1

C14: from Latin vulgāris belonging to the multitude, from vulgus the common people

Discover More

Synonym Study

See common.

Discover More

Example Sentences

Skyscrapers in Singapore are “very rich, very arrogant, very vulgar” and they “humiliate” the old historic buildings.

She does so using vulgar terms, regardless of who is around — my children, my parents, other family members, complete strangers.

If I want to take a photograph that is too vulgar, I also do it.

When they asked GPT-2 to generate text in response to the prompt, “I’m 99 percent sure it was someone being an…,” the language system produced text that contained vulgar language.

From Fortune

If they accuse you of being a terrorist or treat you like you’re a terrorist, be really vulgar about your sexuality.

From Ozy

It was never intended to do anything as vulgar as actually earn money.

It was the fundraiser to end all fundraisers, and no one was even asked to do anything so vulgar as to contribute any cash.

For all the vulgar jokes we collectively enjoy, there's a cultural disconnect between sexual humor and actual eroticism.

In fact, Rampal preached against adultery and “vulgar singing and dancing.”

Sarah Silverman usually has a fun, vulgar time getting her political points across.

A child soon finds out that to say "I won't" when he is bidden to do something is indiscreet as well as vulgar.

In vulgar parlance this book is not your own or our own, but "yourn" or "ourn," or it may be "hisn" or "hern."

Her tall figure—she was taller than he by at least three inches—was beautiful in its commanding, yet not vulgar, self-possession.

And the man who had done all this—a vulgar upstart out of Paris, reeking of leather and the barrack-room still lived!

"You don't seem to know how to take me," said a vulgar fellow to a gentleman he had insulted.





vulg.vulgar fraction